Jungle Cruise poster
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Jungle Cruise is now both a beloved ride as well as an action-packed movie, following in the footsteps of Pirates of the Caribbean (and Tomorrowland, to a lesser extent). This Jungle Cruise review WILL contain spoilers under the labeled cut, so read at your own risk, You’ve been warned! 

Jungle Cruise Spoiler Free Review

Jungle Cruise is very fun. It’s like The African Queen meets Raiders of the Lost Ark. Our leading trio is made of a cast of charming characters, played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Emily Blunt, and Jack Whitehall.  The action is very reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark -in that it combines brawling fights with what I’d consider classic adventure motifs such as escaping via rooftops and marketplace fights. 

Now, I know you might be asking “is Jungle Cruise scary for kids?” There are a few “jumpscares” here and there, but it’s more likely than not that you’ll see them coming. It’s rated PG-13, but if your child can handle Pirates of the Caribbean, I’d say they can handle Jungle Cruise just fine. There’s no bad language to worry about either(unless your child can understand German, they do throw in one swear in German). 

Does Jungle Cruise Have Skipper Jokes?

Yes. Thankfully, and gloriously, yes. Faithful fans of the Jungle Cruise ride will be delighted and feel fulfilled to see The Rock spouting off some fantastic Skipper jokes. Just don’t take them for granite. 

Jungle Cruise Review (spoilers ahead) 

The spoilers section has begun! Turn back now if you want to stay spoiler-free! 

I’d like to start this Jungle Cruise review by saying: The Rock is delightful. He’s so charming it’s hard to NOT like any character he’s playing. But before we get to Frank on his wonderful riverboat, we’ve got to start with Lily and McGregor. Lily has the most Indiana Jones-esque moments in the movie, doubling as both Indy and Marion. She gets her own kick-ass action sequences, and we get a scene of her being carried away in a birdcage that was IMMEDIATELY flagged in my brain as a reference to the scene where Marion is carried away in a basket to a crowded marketplace. It felt like a nice nod to the classic adventure film that suits Jungle Cruise just as well. 

Jack Whitehall made for a wonderful little brother to Emily Blunt’s Lily and provides a lot of comic relief throughout the film. I was happy to see however, he gets a few good hits in as well, and isn’t resolved to be a background character in every fight. While the writers could have easily made him the damsel in distress, they allowed him to take a more active yet true-to-character role in the fight sequences, which I appreciated as a viewer. Some very specific viewers might get upset about McGregor’s scene explaining he couldn’t accept ladies’ marriage proposals, but honestly I didn’t mind. I thought it was a nice moment between him and Frank while Lily did her detective work onboard the ship.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is as charming as ever, and his skipper jokes made my little Disney heart very happy. His chemistry with Emily Blunt was great, and I enjoyed his character Frank overall. My only quibble with his arc is that I’m not sure I remember them mentioning a “Francisco” when explaining the legend in the beginning, so the reveal felt a little weaker later on. Rather than giving the audience something to piece together and then have it fall into place, as soon as Aguirre said “Fransisco” the light bulb truly went off. Plus, I knew they wouldn’t just kill him off, and in order to survive the damage he took, he had to be some sort of non-human. BUT, it’s likely a lot of younger viewers won’t make that connection, so take it for what you will.

Final Thoughts 

Jungle Cruise is a movie suitable for viewers of all ages. With a few “jumpscares” here and there it’s nothing the average Pirates of the Caribbean viewer can’t handle (I watched it with my 12-year-old nephew, and he loved it). The scenery is beautiful, the jokes are delightful, and while the story has its predictable moments, the fact that it’s so enjoyable and entertaining more than makes up for it. Jungle Cruise pays homage to The African Queen via the bottle of whiskey Frank keeps under the boards, and to Raiders via the marketplace chase and subsequent fight. I’m not expecting the average viewer to catch them, but it’s a treat for those who have seen and appreciate the films that Jungle Cruise took inspiration from. 

All in all, I’d say give it a watch. You’ve got nothing to lose; the cast is rock solid, and you’ll have a rip-roaring time on board. 

If you see it, tell me how you liked it over at @glamgeekguru on Instagram, and keep an eye out for more reviews on my site here

By Hannah

Lover of all things geeky.